Above the Grand Canyon with a Helicopter

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Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter tours are certified to fly the entire Grand Canyon with exclusive landing sites on Hualapai and Navajo Nation lands. Our fleet of Papillon helicopters are specifically designed for sightseeing and comfort, with oversized windows and onboard upgrades that have been developed by our own team. We service Grand Canyon helicopter tours from the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Tours afford maximum flight time, enabling guests to fully discover the great wilderness and scenic attractions the southwest has to offer.

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters is the largest and most experienced Grand Canyon helicopter tours company in the world. We’ve been flying guests on daily tours since 1965, and with three exclusive landing sites on the floor of the canyon, the immersive experience we offer is unrivaled by any other tour company.

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours FAQs

What features are offered on Papillon tours?
  • Complimentary Hotel Transfers (from Las Vegas only)
  • Pre-recorded narration available in multiple languages, plus choreographed music
  • Most tours operational every day except Christmas
Which days do Grand Canyon helicopter tours operate?
  • Most of our tours operate 364 days a year. Our tour offerings are limited to bus and airplane tours on Christmas day.
How much does a tour to the Grand Canyon cost?
  • All of our tours vary in price depending on departure location and tour type. To find a tour that’s right for you, visit our tour pages by departure location: Las Vegas, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon West, Phoenix/Scottsdale or Page, AZ.
What Grand Canyon helicopter tour departure times do you offer?
  • Most Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopter tours and flights have many departures ranging from early morning to late afternoon and evening.
Which Grand Canyon helicopter tour is the best?
  • Well, that all depends on what you’re looking for! We offer a wide range of tour types for all Grand Canyon experiences. Looking for an all-inclusive Grand Canyon tour that covers Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and a landing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? We’ve got that. Interested in leveling up to a full adventure tour with a helicopter ride, ATV and jeep excursion? Yeah, we’ve got that, too. Check out all of our tours departing from Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.
Can you take a helicopter to the bottom of the Grand Canyon?
  • Yes! If you are touring with us from Las Vegas or Grand Canyon West we offer a number of helicopter tours that will deliver you 4000 ft. to the floor of the Grand Canyon.
What languages are available for Grand Canyon tours?
  • We offer Grand Canyon tour narration in several languages on our air transportation tours. Most helicopter narrations are available in: Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, French, Dutch, Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and English. Most airplane narrations are available in: Spanish, German, Russian, Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, French, Dutch, Thai, Indonesian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and English.

Make the Most out of One Day at the Grand Canyon

Trying to make the most out of your trip to the American Southwest? The Grand Canyon is a must! Just a short journey from Las Vegas, this massive feat of nature hosts over 6 million visitors annually, made up of families and explorers from around the world. There is no limit to the exploring that can be done at this national monument and the many regions within it, including the Grand Canyon National Park, also known as the South Rim, or the Grand Canyon West Rim. Many visitors opt to spend several days exploring the canyon and retiring to the historic hotels at night. However, even if you have an extra day in your Las Vegas vacation, then you have time for a Grand Canyon helicopter tour, airplane tour, and more. If you have just a day available to spend at the canyon, use this guide to learn how your time will be best spent.

Reach the Canyon Quicker

A panoramic Grand Canyon landscape

The Grand Canyon West is the region nearest to Las Vegas at just under a 3-hour drive. This region is actually accessible via helicopter, which cuts the travel time to about 45 minutes. The flight also includes incredible sights of Hoover Dam and the desert scenery along the way. An early morning Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas will have you at the West Rim in no time, with a whole day ahead of you. You can even land down at the bottom of the canyon! Browse Grand Canyon helicopter tours that depart Las Vegas.

The Grand Canyon South Rim is about 280 miles from Las Vegas – a little over a 4-hour drive. Skip the scenic route and opt for an airplane tour from Las Vegas instead. You’ll save 3 hours each way that you can spend exploring and sightseeing instead!

Understand the Size of the Park

A Grand Canyon landscape illuminated by sunlight

The Grand Canyon West features several incredible scenic areas including Eagle Point, where the Skywalk Bridge is located, as well as Guano Point, a Wild West town, and a Native American Cultural Center. Fortunately for visitors with a time limit, this area offers free shuttle service to each of these locations for faster transport. The West Rim is also the only area where Grand Canyon helicopter tours are permitted to land at the very bottom, the most exciting way to experience the massive stone walls and the Colorado River below.

On the other hand, the Grand Canyon National Park stretches 1,900 square miles, quite a distance for tourists on foot! Within this massive space, visitors will find dazzling canyon lookout points as well as the Grand Canyon Village, offering rustic dining options, dozens of gift and art shops, several hotels, and many historic buildings available to explore.

Many Grand Canyon tours offer shuttle transport to these destinations and lookout points throughout the park. If you’re visiting the South Rim independently, researching places of interest and planning your day will help manage the time you have at the canyon. Most of these buildings and lookout points are within reasonable walking distance of one another, but knowing where you’re heading will help cut down travel time or time wasted getting lost.

Plan for the Weather

The Grand Canyon National Park covered in snow

Although located in the desert, the Grand Canyon experiences a variety of weather patterns – including snow. The weather can also vary greatly from that in Las Vegas, as well. Be sure to check the forecast before leaving for your Grand Canyon tour, especially in the winter months. You don’t want to be trapped indoors trying to escape the cold for your entire day! Be sure to check the weather before your tour so you can dress accordingly – or dress in layers to prepare for the fickle temperature changes.

Like any trip, planning in advance is the key to ensuring a smooth day of activity and no wasted time. Many tourists enjoy going with the flow and seeing what they stumble upon in their adventure; however, if you want to see as much of the South or West Rim as possible, a Grand Canyon helicopter tour or airplane tour is the way to go.

Top 10 Best Ways to Experience the Grand Canyon

For many, visiting the Grand Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a single chance to capture as many memories as possible. Over the last century, the area surrounding this massive natural landform has grown and evolved, and today there are dozens of tour operators and activities available to tourists. If you’re planning a visit to this treasured American destination, you deserve the best Grand Canyon tour possible, no matter how much time you have to spare during your trip. Here are our top 10 recommendations for the best Grand Canyon tours and activities.

1. Explore the Surface

A bright, sunny Grand Canyon landscapeSome of the most famous and recognizable rock formations are scattered across the South Rim. To see each of these incredible sights in one day, a Hummer excursion is the best Grand Canyon tour available. Each Hummer is fitted with a convertible roof and air-conditioning, perfect to counteract the sudden weather changes that frequently happen at the canyon. Best of all, Hummer tour guides know the canyon better than anyone! They can answer all of your questions and find the perfect sightseeing spots while avoiding the crowds.

2. Stand Above It

An aerial view of the Grand Canyon Skywalk Bridge.Arguably one of the most popular features at the Grand Canyon is the Skywalk Bridge, located at the West Rim. This impressive piece of architecture allows tourists to literally stand above the rock gorges of the Grand Canyon. The glass floor of this U-shaped bridge offers the opportunity to see all the way to the bottom of the canyon just by looking through your feet.

3. Spend the Night

Several covered wagons scattered throughout a desert landscapeLocated in rural Arizona, Bar 10 Ranch offers guests exciting outdoor activities and sightseeing throughout the eastern Grand Canyon. Guests can experience the vast desert landscape on horseback or on at ATV tour, then enjoy a variety of activities back at the ranch like beach volleyball, tetherball, and billiards. The ranch is known for its home-cooked barbecue and friendly staff. Overnight guests at Bar 10 have a rare and enviable opportunity to spend the night in a converted covered wagon under one of the brightest night skies in the world. The massive amount of bookings that Bar 10 Ranch receives annually proves its place as one of the best Grand Canyon tours available.

4. Raft Through It

Waves crashing onto passengers aboard a blue raftPerhaps one of the most all-encompassing methods of exploring the Grand Canyon, rafting through the stone walls down the Colorado River is an extremely high-demand adventure. In fact, rafting outfitters are regularly booked over a year in advance. Rafting tours can last anywhere between 14 hours up to a full 18-day journey through the entire canyon. By day, rafters explore whitewater rapids and waterfalls and by night they camp on the canyon floor, a truly enviable opportunity. Find more information about what Grand Canyon Rafting has to offer.

5. Float the Colorado River

Several people aboard a raft on the Colorado RiverWhitewater rafting isn’t your only option to experience travelling down the Colorado River. Visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park have the opportunity to float through Glen Canyon on a smoothwater rafting tour. Rafters are transported from the national park to the city of Page, Arizona where the float trip begins. You’ll drift between the ancient canyon walls, see Native American petroglyphs, and even float through the world-famous Horseshoe Bend before returning to the Grand Canyon National Park. If you’re planning a visit to the South Rim, this is the best Grand Canyon tour for those who have plenty of time to sightsee.

6. Turn It Into a Road Trip

A van drives through a desert canyonThe Grand Canyon West Rim is just over a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas, while the South Rim is approximately 5 hours. Instead of making the journey in your rental car, sit back and relax on a Grand Canyon bus tour. You can travel from Las Vegas through the incredible landscapes of the Mojave Desert to either the West Rimand the South Rim. These are the best Grand Canyon tours for those who prefer ground transportation over flight, and who have a good amount of time available or sightseeing.

7. Make It An Outdoor Adventure

Three people driving ATVs through a desert landscapeThe American Southwest is scattered with historic landmarks and hidden gems, one of which being Eldorado Canyon – where Nevada’s oldest gold mine can be found. This ghost town offers plenty of Western buildings to explore, as well as ATV tours, and guided tours deep inside the haunted Techatticup Mine! Eldorado Canyon can be visited via helicopter tour or added onto a Grand Canyon tour.

8. Include the Las Vegas Strip

An aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip through the window of a helicopterA huge number of Grand Canyon tours depart from Las Vegas and the surrounding area. Additionally, many tours offer an upgrade to include a flight over Las Vegas Boulevard. The sprawling casinos and pools are even more impressive from an aerial perspective – especially when flying over the neon lights at night!

9. Fly Over It

A region of the Grand Canyon National Park on a sunny dayThe Grand Canyon is unarguably one of the most photogenic places in the world, but one can only see so much while standing at the edge. Both the Grand Canyon West Rim and the Grand Canyon South Rim offer a variety of airplane and helicopter tours that fly right over the edge and across the massive stone gorges. The aerial views from the aircraft are simply unmatched from those on the ground!

10. Land at the Bottom

Four people pose for a photo on the floor of the Grand CanyonYes, this is actually possible! By far the most high-demand way to explore the Grand Canyon, the West Rim is the only region that allows helicopter landings on the floor – which is convenient as Las Vegas is just a 45-minute helicopter flight away. The entire Grand Canyon is beautiful from every perspective, but seeing the giant stone walls from below is truly an experience unlike any other, possibly the best Grand Canyon tour available.